Dad Uses CPR Learned From ‘The Office’ To Save Daughter
Imagine being in this position...During a game of tag, your 4-year-old faints and drops to the floor. What do you do while waiting for help to arrive?
That's what happened to Matt Uber when his 4-year-old daughter Vera collapsed.
“When I was trying to think about what do I know about CPR, (my mind literally went) to that episode of ‘The Office,’ where they are doing CPR training and doing the compressions to the beat of ‘Stayin’ Alive,’” Uber, 46, of Carmel, Indiana, told TODAY. “It’s just what kicks in, what’s in your head, and that’s fortunate.”
Uber and his wife, Erin, are sharing Vera’s story on the TODAY Show so the rest of us will understand the importance of CPR.
“If you have a base of CPR and a knowledge of AED (automated external defibrillator) … you can change a family’s life, you can change a person’s life, which could change the world,” Uber said.
On April 25, Dad and Vera played tag around the house when suddenly the giggling stopped and he “heard a thud.”
“She was just balled up against the corner. My natural assumption was that she had tripped and fallen and hit her head,” Uber explained. “When I picked her up off the ground, she was just limp, her eyes were kind of rolled back.”
Uber shouted for his older daughter Nora to call 911.
“I observed that she was not breathing and she was turning pale,” he said.
That’s when his mind flashed back to “The Office” episode where the staff at Dunder Mifflin learned CPR. He placed his hands where he thought they should be and started compressions to the beat of the iconic Bee Gee’s song "Stayin' Alive".
“I remembered to lift her neck and make sure that she wasn’t choking or having a seizure,” Uber explained. “I was panicked and it was chaotic. In the meantime, the wonderful 911 operator got on and talked me through the process.”
Soon after the paramedics arrived and they took over continuing to administer CPR and then using a defibrillator.
“On the second delivery of shock, she responded and we heard her little cry,” Uber said.
Uber’s memory of basic CPR from the TV episode made the difference for Vera.
Vera had experienced cardiac arrest. When she arrived at Children's Hospital in Indianapolis, the doctors needed to uncover why a healthy 4-year-old experienced this scary medical emergency.
“There was never any indication of any issues, let alone serious cardiac issues,” Uber said. “I didn’t have any suspicion that we were dealing with a condition that led to have having cardiac arrest. I assumed it was something to do with her hitting her head.”
Vera underwent genetic testing and the family eventually learned she had calmodulinopathy, an uncommon and life-threatening condition that causes arrhythmia in young people.
Doctors have implanted a device in Vera that will now shock her heart should it be needed in the future.
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